The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday and Aquarium Animals


Swimming
By Carl Phillips

Some nights, I rise from the latest excuse for
Why not stay awhile, usually that hour when
the coyotes roam the streets as if they’ve always
owned the place and had come back inspecting now
for damage. But what hasn’t been damaged? History
here means a history of storms rushing the trees
for so long, their bowed shapes seem a kind of star—
worth trusting, I mean, as in how the helmsman,
steering home, knows what star to lean on. Do
people, anymore, even say helmsman? Everything
in waves, or at least wave-like, as when another’s
suffering, being greater, displaces our own, or
I understand it should, which is meant to be
different, I’m sure of it, from that pleasure
Lucretius speaks of, in witnessing from land
a ship foundering at sea, though more and more
it all seems related. I love the nights here. I love
the jetty’s black ghost-finger, how it calms
the harbor, how the fog hanging stranded just
above the water is fog, finally, not the left-behind
parts of those questions from which I half-wish
I could school my mind, desperate cargo,
to keep a little distance. An old map from when
this place was first settled shows monsters
everywhere, once the shore gives out—it can still
feel like that: I dive in, and they rise like faithfulness
itself, watery pallbearers heading seaward, and
I the raft they steady. It seems there’s no turning back.

--------

My Tuesday was not much more eventful than my Monday -- work, chores, Olympics. It was Maddy's last day feeding our friends' cats and housesitting for them; she had plans with a friend afterward, but the friend wasn't feeling well, so she came back here. Adam was in College Park with Christine for most of the day in preparation for the job in the 3D printing lab he'll have during the school year as well as a T.A. position.

NBC has continued to suck so much that I'm watching the end of the women's gymnastics team competition as I type this approaching midnight, but at least we got to see most of the swimming live. We had enchilada casserole for dinner because Maddy told Paul that she loves enchiladas, and he used Beyond Meat, which her father helped invent. Some more photos from the Adventure Aquarium in Camden:











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